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Here is a great overview of how discern false prophets. We all need to know how to do it. Our spiritual health as followers of Jesus depends on it.

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:11-12). 

Theologians debate the historical context of this verse, but one thing we do know is that it definitely applies today. Many people want to know about end-times signs, but first we need to discern end-times voices—voices of truth versus those of falsehood.

In these dire times, many of us can relate to the prophet Jeremiah’s words: “My heart within me is broken because of the [false] prophets; all my bones shake … because of the Lord, and because of His holy words” (23:9). The lies of Israel’s leaders led to Jeremiah’s broken heart as well as a loss of balance and stability. God declared, “‘For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,’ says the Lord” (23:11). The land, not unlike ours today, was full of unrepentant sin and fake voices, and the people were paying the price—the pleasant places were dried up.

In short, a false prophet is one who proclaims, “This is what God says,” when it’s not what God is saying at all. They also embrace ungodly movements because they are filled with the world rather than God’s Spirit. Leaders who are not mightily filled with God’s Spirit may exhibit some of the same characteristics as false prophets, which I’ve outlined below. However, in these cases, they lack holy fire but aren’t necessarily false leaders. A false prophet is unconverted, whereas those who are wishy-washy may simply be quenching and grieving the Spirit by their choices. Be careful in labeling people too quickly. The false prophet will draw clear lines in the sand; those struggling just need biblical direction. If we don’t cling to the cross and seek God daily, we could easily become lukewarm and not boldly stand for Him. We all must be vigilant. Listen to a short clip here about this very issue.

Although the main focus of this article is on those who say they believe in Jesus, there are also false prophets in cults who downright reject the deity of Christ. The apostle Peter warned, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1). False prophets will say they believe in Jesus, but they’ve never repented of their sin and embraced him as Lord and Savior. This point is critical—just because someone says something does not mean they believe it. Look at the fruit.

With that said, here are seven surefire signs of a false prophet based on Jeremiah 23.

Read more here: 7 Unmistakable Traits of False Prophets